Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Review: Superman Red And Blue #5

Superman Red and Blue #5 came out last week and really was a great issue. This series has really grown on me as the stories have recently become much more Superman-centric and less about other characters or political issues du jour. Yes, Superman can be political but he still should be the hero in his own stories.

This issue also has a great array of creators. I mean, they sort of had me with Daniel Warren Johnson, the creator of the recent Black Label Wonder Woman Dead Earth book and the current Beta Ray Bill book, both worth reading. But through in Mark Buckingham, Chris Sprouse, Joshua Williamson, G. Willow Wilson, and others and this is a true smorgasbord of talent.

It also doesn't hurt that one of the stories echoes a moment in Action Comics #500 that I just love. And it happens to involve Krypto, currently suffering and maybe dead in Tom King's Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow book. Another is a perfect encapsulation of 'Pa Kent wisdom', another trope I love.

I also love this playful cover by Amanda Conner featuring the dog of steel as well. Looks like the pup is going to get a nice treat from Superman.

Probably just best to jump into it. But I think this would be the issue I would recommend to people if they wanted to try this series out.

The first story 'Fetch' is written by Judd Winick with art by Imbrahim Moustafa.

In it, a tweener Clark is sort of sulking and feeling the teen angst.

Luckily, Krypto crash lands.

Suddenly, Clark has a playmate, another super-powered pal to hang and play with unchecked. I mean, a boy needs a dog!

I love this. I love Krypto. I'm a dog person myself. And it echoes so wonderfully Superman's discussion of Krypto in Action Comics #500, it pulled on all my heart strings. Just fantastic.

'Deescalation' is written by G. Willow Wilson with art by Valentine DeLandro.

This is really a Clark Kent story and I love it. Clark happens to be in a convenience store when a young crook comes in to rob the place. Using all his steady nerves and calming voice, he de-escalates the issue. For that moment, Clark is Superman for the young cashier behind the till. He also most certainly changes the trajectory of this young man's life. 

Great story, great art. Just pitch perfect. I love how DeLandro's Clark is very Chris Reeve-ish.

'Your Favorite' is written by Joshua Williamson with art by Chris Sprouse. In it, someone interviewing Jimmy Olsen asks him picture he has taken of Superman is his favorite. The conceit gives Williamson and Sprouse the opportunity to give us a quick timeline of Superman's history.

Jimmy ends up talking about a shot that would have been his favorite, the aftermath of a 'Superman versus his Sinister Six'. Unfortunately, the lens cap was on.

I won't spoil the ending of this lovely story. But I was grinning at the denouement. It showed just how big a pal Jimmy is.

Probably, push come to shove, my favorite story of the issue.

With '...Blue Dot', Mark Buckingham gives us, essentially, just a retelling of the origin story. We hear Jor-El and Lara's discussion about sending Kal to Earth while we see his rocket pinballing through the universe, avoiding the destruction of his planet.

There is a nice moment were we hear that the destruction of the planet was because of the ecological stressors the populace put on the world. Frankly, that's us here on Earth.

I also have to say that I like this origin more than Rogol Zaar planting a bomb.

The last story is the most touching. It is by Daniel Warren Johnson and is untitled. As I have said, I am a sucker for Pa Kent wisdom.

It starts with Pa talking to his priest about how unsure he is of being a father. He gets reminded of a bible passage which guides him. We see how loving and proud Pa was to Clark. And we then flip the script to see how those lessons of love have impacted Clark. As Superman, he shares that love and outlook with the world. Johnson's rough art style complements the message phenomenally.

Just touching. I may have welled. Inspiring and wonderful. 

So, all together a very wonderful issue with stories that range from the origin to Clark to Jimmy to Krypto to Pa's love. Perfect. I hope everyone goes out and grabs this one.

Overall grade: A+

1 comment:

Martin Gray said...

Sounds a great comic, I bought the first issue, and still haven’t read it - there’s something about that colour palette that’s distancing… do the artists actually use the limited colour choices, is there any point to it?

Now I really want to reread Action Comics #500!